|My daughter in law and her father when he visited them in Edinburgh earlier this year.|
Last year we were privileged to meet Mr Ciaglewicz in Poland. He is my son's father-in-law. We saw him shortly after elections in Poland in July/August last year. During our visit we had a special night with him talking through the use of dictionaries, pictures and charades. Later in the evening Magda his daughter came home and we had an interpreter. (She was surprised with how well we had done communicating, and some how some of the fun and delight went out of it when she could interpret... it was too easy. ) We caught up on his life, who he was and on his history. At one stage he told us that he had been annoyed with his children because they were not inclined to vote. He pointed out that under the communists he had been a part of a group working for democracy. He risked arrest and at one stage had to move his family because of his involvement in agitating against the regime. He had risked, worked and struggled to help get a functioning democracy in Poland, and he did not like it being taken lightly.
I began to have a new appreciation for the freedoms we have here in NZ. We may feel very powerless in all the various fluctuations of life, but we can vote. We have an opportunity to express our values and perspectives on polling day. This will always involve a compromise because we will always find some aspects of a political party that we cannot identify with, but we can influence the general direction of our country. We ought to make use of the opportunity to vote.
We get the government we deserve if we fail to have our say. Such apathy annoys me. Somebody who did not vote better not gripe to me when our assets are sold, or when they feel left behind!